Johnson & Johnson vaccines paused in Va. following CDC guidelines

Johnson & Johnson vaccines paused in Va. following CDC guidelines
(FILE) (Source: Morgan Newell, WBTV)

RICHMOND, Va. (WWBT) - The Virginia Department of Health has paused usage of Johnson & Johnson vaccines throughout the state following guidelines from the CDC.

This comes after Johnson & Johnson vaccine doses were paused around the country and the state of Virginia investigates reports of potentially dangerous blood clots.

In a press conference, Dr. Danny Avula says 72,000 doses were supposed to be administered throughout the Commonwealth this week. Even though these plans are paused, Dr. Avula says Phase 2 is still expected in health districts across the state by this Sunday.

However, he says it could slow down appointments for those 16 and older.

“We will not be able to have as many appointments available for first doses next week and beyond,” Dr. Avula said.

Dr. Avula also says a CDC committee will meet on Wednesday afternoon to investigate these reports of these rare blood clots.

“It could be that they do a deep dive on the data and really don’t see an increase in incidents,” said Dr. Avula. “It could mean that they would need more information and this could last several days or longer.”

Vaccines will be paused until the investigation is complete.

Any Virginia residents with an upcoming appointment for the vaccine will be contacted to reschedule the appointment.

The Richmond-Henrico Health District has paused Johnson & Johnson vaccines.

Anyone who had an appointment at one of the four upcoming vaccine events in the Richmond-Henrico Health District should call the RHHD call center at (804-205-3501). Those who had an appointment at one of these clinics will instead be offered the Pfizer or Moderna vaccines, so please arrive at your scheduled appointment time.

VCU and VCU Health also say they are working on an operation plan for future vaccinations closely with the Virginia Department of Health.

Logan Kidd, a VCU student, says he received an email on Monday night to schedule his appointment for the Johnson & Johnson vaccine on Thursday morning.

“I was so excited to finally get vaccinated,” Kidd said.

The next morning, Kidd says he was sad to hear the news that the Johnson and Johnson vaccines were being paused.

“I had been waiting this entire time because I do have high-risk family members,” Kidd said. “I was devastated because I had been waiting for so long, and now I have to wait even longer.”

RHHD will also pause vaccinating homebound individuals and walk-up vaccinations to seniors.

VDH released the following statement:

“This pause is reassuring in that it demonstrates that the systems that are in place to monitor vaccine safety are working. We look forward to a thorough review by federal health officials,” VDH said in a statement.

Vaccine rollout for the Pfizer and Moderna vaccines will continue.

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